Only 17 associations were among the 95 arts, music and live performance organisations to receive a four-year funding commitment last week from Australia Council.
They share in $31.7 million per annum via the revised Four Year Funding program, with 28 organisations received four-year funding for the first time.
Among the 17 music recipients were APRA AMCOS, QMusic, MusicNT, Skinnyfish Music, Carriageworks, Australian Music Centre and Multicultural Arts Victoria.
Two of the successful recipients already revealed plans to help their members.
Qmusic’s COVID-19 Response Plan included free online industry development programs, regular online events and increased industry advocacy and information flow.
CEO Angela Samut said it also included “supporting our First Nations music community, as well as rolling out a Women in Music mentorship program funded by the Queensland government department of employment, small business and training”.
Music NT will work with the Northern Territory government, which launched an Immediate Response and Resilience Program including $1 million for music & arts and $1 million for the screen sector, and more flexibility to its grants schemes.
Last week Australia Council announced Kirsty Rivers as its new head of music.
Rivers has long worked grassroots initiatives as national manager of writers service for 19 years at APRA AMCOS and 16 years as vice-chair of youth live events catalyst The Push.
More recently she was senior manager of contemporary music at Creative Victoria.
The new head of music at Australia Council, Kirsty Rivers.
Criticisms Of Funding
The live performance, arts and classical sectors have been highly critical of the round, pointing out that 128 companies had been supported in the last round in 2016.
Live Performance Australia’s chief executive, Evelyn Richardson, acknowledged that Australia Council had done what it could, but blamed the federal leaders for not increasing its budget.
“We are deeply concerned that so many companies have been negatively impacted by the announcement, particularly those who have only been offered a 12-month reprieve as well as those that have not been successful in securing any funding at all.
But Australia Council CEO Adrian Collette AM has stood his ground saying it was a necessary move in the current financial climate.
“In the light of COVID-19, it has been essential to revise this round of Four Year Funding to provide support for the greatest possible number of small to medium arts organisations.
“This has involved increasing the program funding and the number of funded organisations.
“This is not business as usual for anyone, and arts organisations also will need to adapt in order to weather these unprecedented times.”
Australia Council also said it has supported organisations which provide more voices and leadership in First Nations, disability and cultural diversity.